Success Stories

At the Basic Skills Coordinator Trainings in the North and the South, participants were requested to share success stories from their campus.  A summary of what was shared is listed below.  In future, we would like to include assessment techniques, lead people, and web addresses of successful interventions as part of the Basic Skills Network. 
 
Thank you for sharing.
 
 

Skyline College. 1

Moreno Valley Campus, Riverside Community College District. 1

College of San Mateo. 2

Grossmont College. 4

Gavilan College Campus. 6

College of the Sequoias. 6

Monterey Peninsula College. 8

Chaffey College. 9

Antelope Valley College. 10

Santa Barbara City College. 10

Bakersfield College. 10

Grossmont College. 10

 

 

At Skyline College, we had open classrooms and these were posted on a schedule available to all, so that teachers interested in basic skills instruction could visit their colleagues' classrooms to observe.  Another component is that we had teaching demonstrations across the disciplines, where various instructors held demonstrated how they approached basic skills in their various disciplines.  This was illuminating not only in terms of gaining techniques but also in terms of increasing one's respect and admiration for one's colleagues and what they bring to the classroom and finally I gained an increased understanding of to what extent basic skills is an issue that extends beyond math and English instruction, to what extent it is an institution-wide issue.

  • One Book/One College Project
  • From the official OneBook/One College website (http://www.academic.rcc.edu/onebook/):
  •  
  • The goal of One Book/One College is to get the entire campus — students, faculty and staff — to read the same book and to promote discussion and reflection inspired by a shared literary experience.
  •  
  • This is the first year for One Book/One College at RCC, and Moreno Valley is the first RCCD campus to start such a program.; the book that we are using this year is Exposed , by Mark Shapiro.  We look forward to Exposed being the first of many books to promote learning and lively discussion among everyone at our college.
  •  
  • Author Mark Shapiro investigates the toxic chemicals that exist in products we use everyday, everything from infants' toys to beauty products. These toxins, showing up in the bodies of Americans of all ages, can cause cancer, birth defects and genetic damage. While these chemicals are perfectly legal in the US, they have been banned in Europe and other countries.
  •  
  • Cooridnators for the project are English professor Jeff Rhyne and reading professor Sonya Nyrop.  Besides incorporating reading of the book across the curriculum, the One Book project is acting as a springboard for various faculty development activities as well as public discussions presented by faculty experts.  On September 25, reading professor Sonya Nyrop lead a faculty development seminar on how to teach reading across different disciplines and on Oct. 14   Biology/Health Sciences Instructor, Dr. Joanna Werner-Frazcek will discuss her perspective on the book. She will present some thoughts about the books’ claims about health impacts of the toxins described in the book.  Students are encouraged to attend this event and take advantage of hearing one of their very own faculty provide her expert views on the book.
  •  
  • The project will culminate with a visit to the campus by author Mark Shapiro, probably in early April.  He will lead a discussion on the toxicity of everyday objects.  All faculty, staff, and students will be encouraged to attend.
  •  

 

Writing in the End Zone is a BS/Developmental focused learning community designed to increase success and retention of African-American and Pacific Islander males.  It is the result of a unique partnership between CSM English and CSM Football.  We’ve had great success.  We presented our work in New Orleans at the last 4C’s and have shared aspects of our project in a variety of forums.  Coach is the counselor.  Students will have to run if they miss assignments.  Coaches see their positions as stepping stones.  Send email.  What groups are the Moreno Valley African American males involved in.  Email this information to James Banks.  SLO assessment lead to a discussion of pedagogy.  Coach attends class at least once a week.  Skyline has a similar community related to Philipino culture.

 

 

BSI Links: 

http://www.parttimefaculty.org/

http://www.smc.edu/apps/comm.asp?Q=208

http://canadacollege.edu/crossingborders/index.shtml

http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sr/elapreface.asp

http://es.eastpaloaltoacademy.org/

http://hs.eastpaloaltoacademy.org/

http://www.league.org/gettingresults/web/

http://www.uwlax.edu/sotl/lsp/

http://www.losmedanos.edu/deved/

https://www.noellevitz.com/Papers+and+Research/Retention+Calculator/

http://www.sotl.ilstu.edu/

http://eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/custom/portlets/recordDetails/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=EJ509340&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=EJ509340

http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/

http://ijournal.us/issue_20/ij_20_00_TOCframe.html

http://www.tc.edu/lessonstudy/lessonstudy.html

and of course: http://www.cccbsi.org/


Project Success and Basic Skills Brief

 

Goal   Project Success is dedicated to the academic success and retention of basic skills

             students.                

              

Students 

 

         Basic Skills students account for about 70% of all students new to Grossmont  

                College each semester.

 

         About 67% of all Project Success courses are devoted to basic skills instruction.

                

         Each year about 1000 -1200 students enroll in one of our basic skills links.

         

Method

  

         Project Success offers back-to-back, linked basic skills reading and writing     

                courses that build learning communities and share curricular content, activities,

                and instructional methods. Instructor commitment to and interest in each student,  

                along with high-interest content and group and individual activities, provide the best              

                possible environment for individual achievement at the basic skills level.

        

        The following organizations and institutions (among many others) strongly support our              

               approach to basic skills instruction: International Reading Association (IRA), National    

               Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), Harvard Graduate School of Education,  

               National  Institute for Literacy (NIL), and The Center for Student Success (CSS)           

        

                

Evidence of Goal Achievement

 

          Data from 1996-2000 show that during those years, 60% of basic skills students in

                   level-two linked courses (98R/98W) earned a C or better in composition.  During                   

                   that same period, only 44% of level-two students (98) in "stand alone" composition                         

                   courses earned a grade of "C" or better.

 

              Data from 2001-2002 show that during that time, 69% of level II basic skills students                                

                   in linked courses earned a "C" or better in composition. During that same     

              period, only 52% of level-two students in "stand alone" composition courses earned                  

                   a grade of "C" or better.

           Pre- and Post-tests in our reading courses typically result in a range of one to three

                   years' growth in reading comprehension after a single semester of instruction.                                          

           

            End-of-course surveys taken for the past fifteen years ask students if their linked courses                         

                  have been beneficial and if they would enroll in another learning community. Of the thousands of students surveyed, over 80% have responded "yes" to both questions.     

A significant number of basic skills students who pass one set of linked courses                          subsequently enroll themselves by choice in a second Project Success link.  

                                     

Year after year, past Project Success students report to their former instructors that the PS courses they took were vital to their subsequent academic success. Many of these students say they continued their education mainly because of their Project Success experience.                                                                                       

                                                                                                             

 


 

The Basic Skills Network opened its doors on September 3, 2008 at Gavilan College.  During the first few weeks of the semester, we have been visiting basic skills level English and Math classes to speak about the benefits of joining the Basic Skills Network.  We have flyers that we hand out, and we answer questions students may have on general or specific topics that come up when we discuss the services we provide to students.  The services include providing information about financial aid, childcare, tutoring, career options, education plans, personal counseling etc.  We also have bottled water and snacks that students can come in and pick up between classes.   Upon being accepted as a member of the Basic Skills Network, a student will receive points each time s/he accesses one of the tutoring centers on campus, or meets with a research librarian, or has an appointment with a counselor on campus.  At the end of the semester, each student who receives a certain number of points will receive a reward—gas card or book voucher for the college bookstore etc.

 

The success we have had is with the in-class sessions we have conducted.  Invariably, students from each class have come by the office later that day to fill out an application and/or to ask additional questions.  We have accepted 40 students as members of our Network so far this semester, and most of them are a direct result of spending time in the basic skills level classrooms!  Our workshop series is underway as well, and we have received positive feedback from students and faculty regarding the topics of time management and study skills strategies—each presented in 45 minute sessions in basic skills level English classes.

 

 

 

The First Year Experience Program is designed to help incoming freshman build relationships with their peers and instructors to help ease the transition into college.  Students are placed into a learning community which consists of two or more linked courses that students move through together as a cohort. The instructors of the communities work collaboratively to share assignments, create common themes and support students in their success. Upon successful completion of their fall semester, students are urged to continue onto the next phase of the learning communities in the spring.

 

Working in conjunction with the Essential Learning Initiative, the First Year Experience Program offers at least five developmental communities each semester. Those communities are each comprised of a developmental English, Math and Student Success course. These “Framework” communities offer students with basic skills challenges, additional support by way of peer-to-peer collaboration and mentoring, instructor cohesion across disciplines as well as academic faculty and student services collaboration. The FYE counselor works with the instructors from the student success courses to schedule every student an appointment each semester to discuss their educational goal and academic plan. Students also receive support from a retention specialist who monitors attendance and grades. Field trips are incorporated to provide relevant cultural and historical experiences for student participants.

 

Another component of FYE is the freshman seminar course. This course focuses on college success, goal setting, research techniques using electronic databases, graduation/transfer requirements and organization skills. It is incorporated into the learning communities as well as offered independently for students who are not able to participate in a learning community.

 

By promoting access, success and retention, the FYE program helps participating students:

 

  • Develop intellectual and academic competence
  • Create a sense of community and connectedness to the college
  • Develop interpersonal relationships
  • Decide or achieve clarity about a career goal
  • Create a sense of personal value
  • Develop multicultural awareness and learn to tolerate, affirm and appreciate differences among people
  • Receive supportive services such as mentoring, tutoring and counseling

The College is rapidly expanding the number of FYE cohorts. What began as two cohorts in fall 2007, went to six cohorts in spring 2008 and eleven cohorts for fall 2008 and spring 2009. The FYE program began with 44 students in fall 2007 and has expanded to 250 students in fall 2008, with an expected 275 students served in spring 2009. The program serves an additional 120 students in the freshman seminar courses. The spring 2009 program includes learning communities for special populations of nursing students and athletes.


 

The Reading Center at Monterey Peninsula College is a one-on-one or small group tutoring program based primarily on Lindamood/Bell® techniques. Based on current linguistic principles and speech therapy methodologies, the Reading Center meets the needs of those who need to strengthen their reading, spelling or pronunciation skills to be more successful at the college level. At the heart of the program is individualized clinical teaching in which a student and a tutor meet for two to three hours per week over the course of a semester. In a carefully structured program tailored to the needs of each individual, a student is trained in concept imagery; at the same time he or she strengthens visual memory and builds a strong phonetic base. Instruction is based on a multi-sensory technique that uses Socratic questioning in its methodology.

 

Our Reading Center students are representative of the general student population at MPC, in that they come from varied socio-economic backgrounds and range in age from sixteen years to over eighty years. The Reading Center serves as some students’ first introduction to MPC since many are referred to us by neighboring colleges, local elementary schools, high schools, adult literacy programs and other community organizations. It is one of our primary goals, however, to give priority registration to students who are currently enrolled in college English classes.

 

As a program in the English department, the Reading Center offers unrestricted enrollment. We are able to incorporate students’ current textbooks, vocabulary and other course-specific material into our program, which helps students utilize our techniques in other classes. At the same time, students progress through exercises that strengthen their spelling and reading potential. Using this method, we go to the root of students’ difficulties and help them make language comprehensible.

 

All MPC students enrolled in at least one class are eligible to enroll in the Reading Center studies. All students registered for the lower two of our three-level college-reading course sequence are assessed by the Reading Center, and if identified as at risk, they are  referred to the Reading Center for the Lab portion of the reading class.

 

Pre- and post-testing are done at the beginning and end of every semester. Pre-testing helps to identify a student’s area of weakness in spelling and reading, establishing a baseline from which progress is assessed. Post-testing not only determines progress in a semester’s time, but also helps to determine whether a student’s goals have been met.

 

The result is an average two grade-level improvement in spelling, reading and/or pronunciation for each semester that a student spends in the Reading Center, although an occasional student improves as much as seven to ten grade-levels in one semester. Most students can expect to complete the program successfully within two semesters. The bonus is that, while enrolled in the Reading Center, the student can see marked, sometimes dramatic improvement in his or her performance in current classes.


In response to our Basic Skills Assessment, we determined that our faculty needed more in-depth professional development regarding teaching strategies and issues related to working with underprepared students.  As a result, we formed a new campus-wide professional development center for our faculty.  Because our Student Success Center model has been so successful at Chaffey, we decided to use a similar model for our faculty.  Therefore, we developed the Faculty Success Center in order to better support both full and part-time faculty in their instructional practices.  We desired to provide a place and a forum for faculty to share ideas, learn new techniques and strategies, and connect with other faculty members.  We have met our first two goals: 1) Create a space for faculty to congregate to learn and share new ideas, and 2) Offer a Summer Institute for faculty to engage in an interactive learning process about underprepared students.

 

The Faculty Success Center Planning Team (a subcommittee of the Basic Skills Initiative Task Force) met throughout last year to determine the goals and needs of the Faculty Success Center.  A survey was conducted among both full and part-time faculty in order to discover the greatest perceived needs relating to instruction.  Once the survey results were analyzed, the team was able to better define the future goals and mission of the Faculty Success Center.  As a result, two faculty members were give reassigned time this year to begin facilitating the functions and activities in the Faculty Success Center.  

 

The first major event sponsored by the Faculty Success Center was the Faculty Summer Institute: Preparing for the Underprepared.  The Summer Institute was designed to address the issues defined by the basic skills initiative BSI report, “Basic Skills as a Foundation of Student Success in the California Community Colleges,” which indicated that professional development supporting the instruction of underprepared students is necessary but often undervalued.  Since the report indicated that ongoing professional development was one of the most significant measures that an institution could implement in order to promote a culture that values and dignifies both teaching and learning,  the Summer Institute was designed to provide a systemic and substantial professional development opportunity to Chaffey College faculty to address the complex issues of adult underprepared learners.  With improved instructional support and expertise, the goal of offering the Institute was to improve instruction, which will eventually lead to increased achievement for students. 

 

The Faculty Summer Institute was an interactive and informative two-week seminar focused on the theories and strategies that promote success and achievement among adult learners, especially students enrolled in the California community colleges.  Participants engaged in learning about a variety of learning theories and promising pedagogies that promote student learning and achievement.  Every session explored both the conceptual and applied strategies of student success.  Topics included characteristics of students at Chaffey, characteristics of successful students, learning theories, instructional design, learning and teaching styles, brain-based teaching strategies, culturally responsive teaching, reading and writing across the disciplines, educational research, and finding and using student research data.  

 

In addition to attending the 2-week seminar, each participant was required to identify a goal or a challenge and develop a pilot strategy or approach addressing this challenge.  After implementing and assessing the project’s efficacy, each participant will provide a description summary of their project and findings for the Faculty Handbook.  Each participant will also give a short presentation or lead a discussion workshop in the Faculty Success Center regarding their project so that other faculty can learn from their ideas.  

 

Student Persistence Discriminant Modeling

ž  The Office of Institutional Research has developed a model to predict student persistence based on data available on students at roughly census date during the fall term.

ž  In this model, data from past terms is used to ‘train’ the model using the known outcome (returned in spring/did not return in spring).

ž  …What this means is that attending one or more Learning Center courses during the term increases the probability that a student will return in the spring.

        Gateway Center

With over 300 Gateway sections in Spring 2008, students in Gateway classes had a higher course completion rate than non-Gateway students – even though a greater % of those students entered these Gateway classes with below college level competencies in reading and writing.

Academic Achievement Zone

Athletes using the tutorial services of the Academic Achievement Zone, students at higher academic risk because of low GPAs or low skill levels, have higher course completion rates than athletes who do not take advantage of these tutorial services, between 11.4 and 14.1% higher success rates last year.

ž  Hunter Boylan and the National Center for Developmental Education (NCDE) to conduct a comprehensive audit of our campus programs and services.

ž  Critical Academic Success (CAS) Workshop Series.

Project Success and Basic Skills Brief

Goal:   Project Success is dedicated to the academic success and retention of basic skills students.            

Basic Skills students account for about 70% of all students new to Grossmont College each semester.

  • About 67% of all Project Success courses are devoted to basic skills instruction.
  • Each year about 1000 -1200 students enroll in one of our basic skills links.

          Method

·         Project Success offers back-to-back, linked basic skills reading and writing  courses that build learning communities and share curricular content, activities, and instructional methods. Instructor commitment to and interest in each student, along with high-interest content and group and individual activities, provide the best possible environment for individual achievement at the basic skills level.

        The following organizations and institutions (among many others) strongly support our approach to basic skills instruction: International Reading Association (IRA), National

Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), Harvard Graduate School of Education, National  Institute for Literacy (NIL), and The Center for Student Success (CSS)    

Evidence of Goal Achievement: Data from 1996-2000 show that during those years, 60% of basic skills students in level-two linked courses (98R/98W) earned a C or better in composition.  During that same period, only 44% of level-two students (98) in "stand alone" composition courses earned a grade of "C" or better.

·         Data from 2001-2002 show that during that time, 69% of level II basic skills students in linked courses earned a "C" or better in composition. During that same period, only 52% of level-two students in "stand alone" composition courses earned a grade of "C" or better.

·         Pre- and Post-tests in our reading courses typically result in a range of one to three years' growth in reading comprehension after a single semester of instruction.                                          

·         End-of-course surveys taken for the past fifteen years ask students if their linked courses have  been beneficial and if they would enroll in another learning community. Of the thousands of students surveyed, over 80% have responded "yes" to both questions. 

·         A significant number of basic skills students who pass one set of linked courses subsequently enroll themselves by choice in a second Project Success link.        

·         Year after year, past Project Success students report to their former instructors that the PS courses they took were vital to their subsequent academic success. Many of these students say they continued their education mainly because of their Project Success experience.                                                                                        

                                                                                                             

 

Comments